Following on from what was an unprecedented amount of aquatic action across a jam-packed 2022, the focus for British Swimming and our athletes turns to the 2023 calendar, with an abundance of domestic and international events set to take place as the year develops.
All action will be building towards the summer's World Championships, with the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan (14th-30th July) the key focus for our swimmers, divers and artistic swimmers over the next six months, before the para-swimmers look to use home advantage to their benefit when the Para Swimming World Championships are hosted in Manchester from 31st July-6th August.
To help keep track of all the goings on in the pools and off the diving boards this year, we’ve put together a month-by-month guide to highlight some of the key competitions that could see British involvement in 2023...
The first month of the year will provide action for water polo fans, as phase two of the 2022/2023 British Water Polo League season begins, with the last two weekends in January seeing the first matches of all leagues taking place. With Penguin and Manchester finishing top of the men's and women's top divisions respectively at the end of phase one, the competition splits into new groups for the final sets of games - culminating in the spring.
February sees the first major diving competition on the calendar for 2023, with the National Diving Cup taking place in Edinburgh from 2nd-5th February. The annual event consistently showcases the very best of British Diving, with last year’s event in Plymouth – which saw triumphs for Grace Reid, Dan Goodfellow and Noah Williams – setting the squad up well for the success that followed in 2022.
The long-course edition of the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships, which runs from 24th-26th February, also takes place in the same month.
The Citi Para Swimming World Series 2023 will start off in Melbourne, Australia between 17th and 19th February.
The second leg of the Para Swimming World Series in Italy begins the action in March, with the competition in Lignano from 6th-12th of the month, while the annual Edinburgh International Swimming Meet begins on 10th March.
The following week then sees the Para Swimming World Series make its annual trip to the UK, as Sheffield hosts the third leg of the competition – coupled with the British Para-Swimming Meet, which runs (from 16th-19th March) as part of the event and will be a key consideration meet for selection for August’s World Championships in Manchester.
The first leg of the LEN Open Water Cup in Eilat, Israel on 19th March marks the end of the aquatic action for the month.
The month of March will also see several LEN Water Polo European Championship qualification tournaments across both the senior and junior age groups, of which Great Britain will be hoping to make advancements into the latter stages.
April is a month for both domestic and international competition, as the flagship British Swimming Championships returns to Sheffield from 4th-9th April. Again, this will play a key role in selection for the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
The Elite Junior Diving Championships are set for their usual April staging, while Dresden’s International Youth Diving Meet, a valuable competition opportunity for young athletes, takes place later in the month.
The month of May is particularly busy ahead of the summer’s major international competitions. The sixth leg of the Para Swimming World Series in Berlin could feature involvement from British athletes from 8th-14th May.
The annual Mare Nostrum swimming series then follows, with all three legs taking place between 13th and 21st May in Canet, Barcelona, and Monaco respectively. These are always valuable competition opportunities as the crucial weeks of the season approach.
It is then the turn of the marathon swimmers, as LEN and World Aquatics host their own Italian legs of the Open Water Cup and World Series respectively. Sardinia will welcome athletes for the latter event on 20th and 21st May, with LEN’s event taking place in Piombino, also on 21st.
Another of the Para Swimming World Series in Limoges, France is then on the agenda from 23rd-28th May as things continue building towards the Paralympic Games in Paris the following summer.
The annual British Diving Championships are also set to take their usual spot between late May and early June as the final major domestic competition ahead of Worlds.
June begins the hectic summer season as the final preparations for the major internationals take place. Open water events in Spain, Serbia and Wales are also on the schedule for the marathon swimmers across June, with some swimmers in the pool aiming to be at the annual Sette Colli Race Meet in Rome on 23rd June.
The European Games is also set to return for its third edition, with artistic swimming and diving included on the schedule for the competition in Poland, which runs from 21st June-2nd July.
July begins with the LEN European Junior Championships in Belgrade, Serbia between 4th and 9th July.
The month is then dominated by the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, for swimming, diving, marathon swimming and artistic swimming athletes from 14th-30th July. One year out from the Olympic Games, this is the major benchmark meet of the year for those disciplines and will include the battle for world titles and qualifying of quota places for Paris 2024.
The European Youth Olympic Festival also makes a return to the calendar from 22nd-30th July for the swimmers, with this year’s edition in Maribor, Slovenia.
The biggest para-swimming meet of the year then returns to the UK at the end of the month, as the Para Swimming World Championships is hosted at the Manchester Aquatics Centre between 31st July and 6th August – four years on from an unforgettable staging of the competition at London 2019.
The British Summer Championships are also set to return to the domestic calendar for their annual slot at the height of summer.
Alongside the end of the Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester, a Paris 2024 test event for international marathon swimmers - as part of the World Aquatics Open Water Tour - begins the month of August, with the event hosted on 5th and 6th of the month.
Piombino returns to host another 2023 event, as the LEN European Junior Open Water Championships take place in the town between 15th and 17th September, whilst another round of the LEN Open Water Cup on 23rd September in Barcelona awaits the marathon swimmers.
One of the final events of the calendar year could involve the swimming contingent, as the LEN European Short Course Championships will be hosted in Bucharest, run in Romania's capital from 5th-10th December.
Check back to this page throughout the year for more updates on major events across the aquatics calendar in 2023.